Initiatives

The Coalition and our partners focus on:
1) Marketing the state of Minnesota to attract new projects to the state
2) Coordinating research and development to spur creation of new technologies and new companies that can add value to Minnesota resources
3) Convening all parts of Minnesota’s Bioeconomy to improve networking, information-sharing, and collaboration
4) Advocating for public policy that helps the Bioeconomy to grow, with an emphasis on supporting Minnesota’s Bioeconomy Production Incentive and the Working Land Watershed Restoration Program.

 

Policy

Minnesota’s Bioeconomy Production Incentive: In 2015, the Minnesota legislature created a new incentive program to attract commercial-scale production of advanced biofuels, renewable chemicals, and biomass thermal energy. The program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Eligible facilities must be in Minnesota and must source raw materials from Minnesota agricultural or forestry sources or from solid waste. Eligible facilities must have begun operation after July 1, 2015. This includes new facilities as well as existing facilities with significant retrofits to allow new production.

Working Land Watershed Restoration Program: In 2016, the Minnesota legislature tasked the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) and the MPCA to develop an implementation plan for a targeted watershed program to work with farmers to establish and maintain perennial crops for use as animal feed or bio-based production industries. The BCM is working with BWSR to establish a stakeholder group of leaders from agriculture groups, state and local government agencies, environmental NGOs, watershed associations, the research community, and private industry to work together and identify and develop opportunities and industries that will use perennial crops to produce environmentally friendly products or animal feed.

Anaerobic Digestion: The BCM is working on passing language that will support managing compost and digestate from anaerobic digestion (AD), using organic waste from municipal solid waste (MSW) as a feedstock. Currently, compost produced from AD must be managed like all other MSW. However, after AD, organic waste no longer produces the same gases, so there isn’t a need to treat it as such. The compost and digestate produced can be managed like compost or in a separate industrial solid waste landfill cell constructed with an appropriate liner under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Research and Development

The Coalition supports R&D by working toward the following goals:

  • Keep more natural resource wealth in MN and create more value-added opportunities from MN’s sustainable biomass resources
  • Develop a targeted strategy by characterizing MN’s biomass resources and potential markets
  • Develop a targeted and high return-on-investment company recruitment strategy by identifying in advance which companies are best suited with MN’s resources
  • Enhance biomass opportunities that are replicable for a variety of biomass resources including, but not limited to, forest products, agricultural residuals, forest residuals, new biomass crops, municipal solid waste, other organic wastes, and algae

Convening

The BCM holds member and committee meetings to improve networking, information-sharing, and collaboration across members and other stakeholders in the Bioeconomy. It avidly seeks to grow its network by starting conversations with all stakeholders along the Bioeconomy pipeline from research and development to production and use.

Marketing

The Bioeconomy Coalition of MN aims to make Minnesota the best place in the world for Bioeconomy projects to grow. We work with partner organizations at the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development, MN Department of Agriculture, Iron Range Resource Rehabilitation Board, Minnesota Power, Great River Energy and other organizations that work actively to attract new projects to Minnesota and talk about our advantages as a state.

Minnesota is an attractive place for Bioeconomy projects to locate. We have agricultural and forestry resources, a skilled workforce, university research, an existing biomass supply chain, existing biorefineries, a large metropolitan area with a highly ranked international airport, and a favorable policy environment for both R&D and production.